Newcastle -Tuesday 1st November 2011

WASHING: The more time we spend in YHA, the more it smacks of university life. $3 per machine, fish out some man’s undies and hang them up, hope the cycle won’t mangle the clothes but will clean them. $3 per drying hour – do we need an hour? Don’t want them fried just dried. When you come back the nice man has placed his previously, neatly hung up clothes in the dryer and dumped my nicely dried clothes is pile on an old sofa. So, I iron them all and it them to air on the railings of our bed and survey the scene.

OUR ROOM: piles of clean clothes, electrical wiring, plugs, adapters, shoes, wash bags and a full bottle of wine jostle for floor space alongside our half full suitcases.

This is minimal living with a horrid twist- NO storage!

Ah well! Out to find food, back to store it in the communal fridges, eat honey sandwiches, go for walk ( uphill) into town, but it eerily quiet.

Today is the Melbourne Cup. The equivalent of Ascot in the UK. Here in Newcastle, people have taken the day off work to dress up in posh frocks with hats and gather in pubs and hotels to watch it. We sit opposite one such gathering to watch from the other side of the road. The noise describes the race:
“They’re off” – shouts of hooray
“They’re running,” – clamor of exclamations
“Very close now!” – noise raises to fever pitch
“The end!” – Huge cheer, sighs, relief

And they all begin to trickle out in groups.

We walk over the hill, along Nobby’s beach to the lighthouse. We paddle in the sea until we see the jellyfish. We admire the concrete swimming pools including one for kayaking! The beach is good.

My attempt at Spanish Omelette is a disaster and sticks to the pan. There is no spatula or any kind of equivalent to scrape it off!

Still Christmas accommodation is sorted, near Melbourne, so not too bad really.



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